September 27, 2016
The Brass Bed, fine linens & furnishings, has been transforming bedrooms in to sanctuaries since 1978. With Rosella Louis at the helm, the store set out to prove that slumber and splendor can coexist. Here, Louis discusses the recent changing of the guard, the evolution of her industry and the growth of Cherry Creek North.
From left: Laura Colangelo, Molly Myers, Olivia Louis and Rosella Louis.
The year 2016 marked a huge milestone for The Brass Bed—you had your first ownership change in 39 years. We understand, however, that the new owners might look a little familiar to your clientele…
After nearly 40 years running The Brass Bed, fine linens & furnishings, I could not have dreamed up a better exit strategy. We have always been a family affair, with family members working as part of our team. My Daughter, Molly, and daughter-in-law, Olivia decided to purchase the company from me, and niece, Laura, decided to continue in her long time role as company manager. It is with great excitement that I have witnessed the steadfast commitment to our company mission and observed the capabilities of our fantastic team.
Organic foods and beauty products are in high demand these days. What about organic textiles?
We have been involved in natural and organic textiles, long before it was important to the masses. Our favorite resource for organic textiles comes from the Purist collection, part of SDH, which we have carried for more than two decades. SDH manufactures organic cotton bedding, sateen linen bedding, wool and silk coverlets, and a wood pulp sheeting that feels like silk, but is cared for like cotton. In addition, we carry, what we believe is the best organic mattress on the market. We take sleep seriously, and are happy to provide products made with health in mind, void of toxic off-gassing.
How has your location in Cherry Creek North impacted your business?
When we opened in 1978, Cherry Creek North was a very different place. Each storefront came from an old house from the Harmon’s subdivision. Most had porches, none had air conditioning or more than one floor. And the district was predominately retail.
Today, in addition to fantastic retail, we have three hotels, condos and apartment buildings, fabulous office space, grocery stores, a library, wonderful restaurants, coffee shops and art galleries. For the residents who live within and around the district, we are a walking village within the city. And for visitors, Cherry Creek North provides all the ingredients for a very special day. Our amazing growth and expansion of occupancy has had some growing pains, particularly with automobile congestion, but I think the future is very bright, and we are happy to be part of this exciting district.
What changing trends have you noticed in the tastes of your clientele since the store first opened?
The main difference is that bedrooms used to be somewhat off limits compared to the rest of the home. Today, the bedroom is a very used space, with comfy beds and seating, family gathering for movie watching and reading, and wonderfully adorned adjacent master bathrooms. A real refuge for our busy lives. The days of chenille bedspreads are long gone. Customers want high end, light weight, beautiful textiles for their bed and bath. They want form and function. We specialize in unique pieces that are usable art. Customers don’t want things that they keep on a shelf and bring out for special occasions. They want to live with their things. We focus on quality textiles that you can wash and dry at home.
What questions do you ask prospective customers so that you can better understand their “style?”
We first focus on comfort. Do you run hot or cold? Do you like a coverlet or a light weight comforter? What colors make you feel good? We then focus on integrating the look with what exists. What color are your walls? Your rug? How deep is your mattress? Do you have a platform bed, or a mattress and box spring on a frame?
After nearly two decades in Cherry Creek North, how would you describe the evolution of the area around you?
There is no question that Cherry Creek North is what it is because it is an authentic space that has organically grown over time. It is the kind of place where you can buy a simple lunch or a gourmet dinner, a pair of flip flops or a diamond bracelet…a place where independent retailers and nationals coexist. And now a place where many people live and work within the 16-block area, in addition to the high-end residential neighborhoods surrounding the district.
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